On coffee farms in Daklak, Vietnam, farmers’ production costs were reduced by 32 per cent in 2019 because of lower input costs from better application of fertiliser and water resources. Image: Olam International One of the most valuable commodities in the global marketplace, coffee travels a complicated journey from crop to cup. After the beans are farmed and harvested by growers across Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America, they typically go through several stages before the final brew, often changing hands a few times before landing in a cup hundreds of miles from their point of origin. The fragmented nature of the industry is one of the biggest challenges to sustainability in coffee supply chains, says Juan Antonio Rivas, senior vice-president of coffee sustainability at food and agribusiness firm Olam International. “There are many coffee-producing countries and in each of those countries, a very large number of farmers. These are mostly smallholders managing only one or two hectares of land, with many intermediaries, including exporters and roasters, making up the rest of the value chain,” he said. “The coffee industry has become very commoditised because of this, and prices very volatile.” Threats to the future of coffee Coffee farmers […]


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